View Full Version : Should I shoot it?

December 19, 2006, 09:19 PM
OK, folks. Need your advice, here...

My father-in-law gave me his old shotgun over Thanksgiving. It's a 16-gauge Mossberg 190; a bolt-action (!) shotgun with two-shell magazine and something called a "C-LECT-CHOKE" at the muzzle, which is a screw-type choke selector. Turning the thing clockwise tightens up some vanes, and adjusts the choke. Markings on the barrel show "I CYL", "MOD" and "FULL" as options; obviously standard chokes. Best I can tell, this thing was made sometime in the late 1950s. He used to use it for hunting rabbits, pheasants and squirrels, but hasn't taken it out of the closet since about 1979.

I broke it down as completely as I felt comfortable with. Removed the stock, pulled out the bolt, and thoroughly cleaned and lubricated everything I could reach. I feel pretty good about it, and would like to shoot it this Thursday. The question is...should I? Beyond cleaning and lubricating it and checking its basic function (which best I can tell, is functioning normally), is there anything else I should do? Should I have a gunsmith look at it first? What, if any, are the risks of shooting something like this that hasn't been fired in 3 decades?

By the way, he gave me two boxes of shells, too. One of them says "CANUCK STANDARD LOAD 16 Gauge 2 3/4 inch; 7 1/2" the other box is a box of slugs, and are German. They're cardboard shells, and say "AUERHAHN Rauchlos" on the face of each of them. Along the edge, they say "SINOXID DYNAMIT-NOBEL-NURNBERG MADE IN WESTERN GERMANY" Should I use this old ammunition? It probably dates back to at least the 1970s. My inclination is to say "no" and fire only new stuff. Any opinions?

December 19, 2006, 09:27 PM
My first shotgun was an old 16 guage Mossberg bolt action with the C-select choke. It was heavy, slow, and ugly...but I loved it.

While I was in Southeast Asia, my brother took it duck hunting. He tripped, stuck the barrel in the mud, and cleaned it with a stick (didn't quite get all the mud out).

When a duck got up...my old Mossberg went out into eternity.

I miss it still.

Dave McC
December 19, 2006, 09:32 PM
Shoot it. I'd have a smith check out any shotgun older than me, but I was hunting when this was made.

Try some new ammo. The old stuff is probably fine, but chances are the new stuff will shoot better.

The one piece plastic wad is the greatest advance in the last century for shotgunners...

December 19, 2006, 10:14 PM
Go shoot it, The gun is not THAT old. I think they were made in the 60's if I remember right. It never hurts to have a gunsmith look at it, but chances are it is fine and safe to shoot. It is not like it was made in the 1800's.

December 20, 2006, 01:54 AM
Unless you see any obvious defects, the gun is probably safe to shoot.

Old ammo generally isn't too much of a problem. As long as your C-Lect choke is set open enough to fire slugs, you should be able to fire them without a problem.

Firing slugs through it while set to a tighter choke will destroy the C-Lect choke.

December 22, 2006, 12:01 AM
I just got back from the range tonight. Put a box of shells through it, and it was great. Only issue I had was sometimes when I just dropped a shell in and pushed the bolt forward, they didn't feed into the chamber. Always fed from the magazine, though. Fun! No malfunctions.